LFP Book Award: Past Winners and Finalists

The 2021 Winner

On Christian Teaching: Practicing Faith in the Classroom
By David I. Smith
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018
ISBN:  080287360

Christian teachers have long been thinking about what content to teach, but little scholarship has been devoted to how faith forms the actual process of teaching. Is there a way to go beyond Christian perspectives on the subject matter and think about the teaching itself as Christian? In this book, David Smith argues that faith has a critical role in shaping pedagogy and the learning experience.

Smith’s scholarly exploration of education combines both theory and practice. With clever and sometimes funny examples, he shows how teachers of every subject and age group can be attentive to how their students are experiencing and interpreting learning. From desk arrangement to discussion questions, there are myriad opportunities to design classes that are deeply rooted in Christian practices. On Christian Teaching provides fresh insight into Christian education that expresses faith and community.

2021 Finalists

Dostoevsky's Incarnational Realism: Finding Christ among the Karamazovs
By Paul J. Contino
Cascade Books, 2020
ISBN: 9781725250758

Hearing Vocation Differently: Meaning, Purpose, and Identity in the Multi-Faith Academy
Edited by David S. Cunningham
Oxford University Press, 2019
ISBN: 0190888679

The Outrageous Idea of Christian Teaching
By Perry L. Glazner & Nathan F. Alleman
Oxford University Press, 2019
ISBN: 9780190056483

Converting the Imagination: Teaching to Recover Jesus' Vision for Fullness of Life
By Patrick R. Manning
Pickwick Publications, 2020
ISBN: 9781725260528

Religion in the University
By Nicholas Wolterstorff
Yale University Press, 2019
ISBN: 9780300243703


The 2019 Winner

 The Resilience of Religion in American Higher Education
by John Schmalzbauer and Kathleen Mohoney
Baylor University Press, 2019
ISBN: 9781481308717 

A well-worn, often-told tale of woe. American higher education has been secularized. Religion on campus has declined, died, or disappeared. Deemed irrelevant, there is no room for the sacred in American colleges and universities. While the idea that religion is unwelcome in higher education is often discussed, and uncritically affirmed, John Schmalzbauer and Kathleen Mahoney directly challenge this dominant narrative. The Resilience of Religion in American Higher Education documents a surprising openness to religion in collegiate communities. Schmalzbauer and Mahoney develop this claim in three areas: academic scholarship, church-related higher education, and student life. They highlight growing interest in the study of religion across the disciplines, as well as a willingness to acknowledge the intellectual relevance of religious commitments.  The Resilience of Religion in American Higher Education also reveals how church-related colleges are taking their founding traditions more seriously, even as they embrace religious pluralism. Finally, the volume chronicles the diversification of student religious life, revealing the longevity of campus spirituality. Far from irrelevant, religion matters in higher education. As Schmalzbauer and Mahoney show, religious initiatives lead institutions to engage with cultural diversity and connect spirituality with academic and student life, heightening attention to the sacred on both secular and church-related campuses.

2019 Finalists


The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis

By Alan Jacobs
Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190864651

Vocation Across the Academy: A New Vocabulary for Higher Education
Edited by David Cunningham
Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190607104


The State of the Evangelical Mind: Reflections on the Past, Prospects for the Future

Edited by Todd Ream, Jerry Pattengale, and Christopher Devers
InterVarsity Press Academic 

The Wounded Angel: Fiction and the Religious Imagination
By Paul Lakeland
Liturgical Press
ISBN: 9780814646229



The 2017 Winner


A New Moral Vision, Gender, Religion, and the Changing Proposes of American Higher Education, 1837-1917
By Andrea L. Turpin
Cornell University Press, 2016
ISBN:  9781501704789

A New Moral Vision by Andrea L. Turpinis an ambitious and thoughtful historical study that complicates and challenges the view that American higher education has simply become increasingly secular over time. The book weaves into a single story the complex changes in mainstream American Protestant religious life, gender roles and self-understandings, and American higher education from the period of women’s first thin wedge of entry into higher education in the 1830s to the end of the Progressive Era in 1917. This history, the book reveals, is less a straight line of secularization and more a twisting path that involves numerous “trajectories and tradeoffs.”


2017 Finalists


Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism
By Molly Worthen
Oxford University Press, 2014
ISBN: 9780190630515


At This time and in This Place: Vocation and Higher Education
Edited by David Cunningham
Oxford University Press, 2016
ISBN: 9780190243920



Teaching and Christian Imagination
David I. Smith and Susan M. Felch
Wm. E. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2016
ISBN: 9780802873231




The 2015 Winner

Becoming Beholders: Cultivating Sacramental Imagination and Actions in College Classrooms
Edited by Karen E. Eifler and Thomas M. Landy    
Liturgical Press, 2014
ISBN-13:  9780814682715

Becoming Beholders, edited by Karen E. Eifler and Thomas M. Landy, explores how a vision of creation rooted in the Incarnation can impact scholarship and teaching for Catholic and non-Catholic scholars alike.  Becoming Beholders demonstrates how this vision, or “sacramental imagination,” can work hand-in-hand with disciplinary training to move scholar-teachers to see deeply—that is, to help them understand how pedagogy and disciplinary modes of observation, questioning, theorizing, and experimentation connect to an understanding of creation as divine gift.  Becoming Beholders will invigorate thoughtful scholarship and teaching and perhaps, most importantly, inspire new ways of seeing and being.

2015 Finalists

The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education
Edited by Christopher Gehrz
InterVarsity Press, 2014
ISBN-13: 9780830840717


Beginning with the Word: Modern Literature and the Question of Belief
Roger Lundin
Baker Academic/Brazos, 2014
ISBN-13: 9780801027260

The 2013 Winner

Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind
By Mark A. Noll
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2011
ISBN-13:  9780802866370

In Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind, Mark A. Noll draws on the resources of Christian thought not only to defend but to promote the pursuit of truth and beauty in the liberal arts. Building on and extending his  arguments in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, Noll demonstrates that thoughtful understandings of Christology and the Atonement not only justify passionate and precise academic work but offer specific guidance in the way  scholars and teachers approach their subjects. Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind—a book for scholarly and general audiences—is required reading for people of faith who are interested in the purposes of education and the  vocation of the teacher/scholar.

2013 Finalists

The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society
By Brad S. Gregory
Harvard University Press, 2012
ISBN-13:  9780674045637

No Longer Invisible: Religion in University Education

By Douglas Jacobsen and Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen
Oxford University Press, 2012
ISBN-13:  9780199844739

Joining the Mission: A Guide for (Mainly) New College Faculty
By Susan VanZanten
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2011
ISBN-13:  9780802862631

The 2011 Winner

Souls in Transition: The Religious Lives of Emerging Adults
An exemplary work of scholarship combining empirical data with personal stories, Souls in Transition:  The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults cuts through the media clutter on college-age adults to offer a vital portrait of their religious, moral, and spiritual assumptions and practices.  The implications in this work for the way colleges and universities--religiously-affiliated or not--recruit, retain, instruct, and prepare students for lives that matter are challenging and profound.  Souls in Transition should be required reading for anyone working in higher education.

2011 Finalists

Intellectual Appetite: A Theological Grammar
By Paul J. Griffiths The Catholic University of America Press, 2009
ISBN-13:  9780813216867

Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian’s Vocation
Edited by John Fea, Jay Green, and Eric Miller
The University of Notre Dame Press, 2010
ISBN-13:  9780268029036

Does God Make a Difference?: Taking Religion Seriously in Our Schools and Universities
By Warren Nord
Oxford University Press, 2010
ISBN-13:  9780199766888

The 2009 Winner

The American University in a Postsecular Age

Edited by Douglas Jacobsen and Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen
Oxford University Press, 2008
ISBN-13:  9780195323443

2009 Finalists

Catholic Higher Education:  A Culture in Crisis
By Melanie M. Morey and
John J. Piderit
Oxford University Press, 2006
ISBN-13:  9780195305517

The Future of Christian Learning:  An Evangelical and Catholic Dialogue
Edited by Thomas Albert Howard
Baker Publishing Group, 2008
ISBN-13:  9781587432132

The State of the University: Academic Knowledges and the Knowledge of God
By Stanley Hauerwas
Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2007
ISBN-13:  9781405162470

Christianity and the Soul of the University: Faith as a Foundation for Intellectual Community
Edited by Douglas Henry and
Michael Beaty
Baker Publishing Group, 2006
ISBN-13:  9780801027949

The 2007 Winner

Protestant Theology and the Making of the Modern German University
By Thomas Albert Howard, Associate Professor of History, Gordon College
Director, Jerusalem & Athens Forum
Oxford University Press, 2006
ISBN: 0199266859

2007 Finalists

Gladly Learn, Gladly Teach: Living Out One’s Calling in the Twenty-First Century Academy
Edited by John M. Dunaway,
Professor of French &
Interdisciplinary Studies and
Director, Mercer Commons
Mercer University Press, 2005
ISBN: 0865549656

The Decline of the Secular University: Why the Academy Needs Religion
By C. John Sommerville,
Professor of English History,
Emeritus, University of Florida
Oxford University Press, 2006
ISBN: 0195306953

Spirit of Service: Exploring Faith, Service, and Social Justice in Higher Education
Edited by Brian T. Johnson,
Chaplain, Gustavus Adolphus
College, and Carolyn R. O’Grady,
Associate Professor of Education,
Gustavus Adolphus College
Anker Press, 2006
ISBN: 1933371013

The Inaugural Winner

Educating for Shalom: Essays on Christian Higher Education
By Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology, and Fellow of
Berkeley College at Yale University
Edited by Clarence W. Joldersma and Gloria Goris Stronks, Calvin College
William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2004
ISBN#: 0802827535
Softcover: $24.00


Scholarship and Christian Faith: Enlarging the Conversation
By Douglas Jacobsen, Distinguished
Professor of Church History and
Theology, Messiah College, and
Rhonda Jacobsen, Professor of
Psychology, Messiah College
Oxford University Press, 2004
ISBN# 0195170385
Hardcover: $35.00

Conflicting Allegiances: The Church-Based University in a Liberal Democratic Society
By Michael Budde, Professor and Chair
of the Department of Political Science,
DePaul University, and John Wright,
Professor of Theology, Point Loma
Nazarene University
Brazos Press, 2004
ISBN # 1587430630
Softcover: $24.99

Conceiving the Christian College
By Duane Litfin, President,
Wheaton College
William B. Eerdmans Publishing
Company, 2004
ISBN#: 0802827837
Softcover: $25.00

Can Hope Endure?: A Historical Case Study in Christian Higher Education
James C. Kennedy, Associate Professor
of History at Hope College, and
Caroline J. Simon, Professor of
Philosophy at Hope College
William B. Eerdmans Publishing
Company, 2005
ISBN#: 0802828582
Softcover: $28.00

Noteworthy News

Lilly Network Office Closed

The Lilly Network office will be closed from Thursday, December 21-Wednesday, January 3 for the holiday break. Wishing you a joyous Christmas!

November Lilly Network Update

The Current Lilly Network Update for November 2023 is now available. Click here.

Announcing the winner of the 2023 Lilly Network Book Award

The Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities is pleased to announce Willie James Jennings' After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging as its 2023 Book Award Winner. For more information and to see a complete list of finalists, click here.

Call for applications for the 2024-2026 Cohort of the Lilly Faculty Fellows Program

Applications for the 2024-2026 Cohort of the Lilly Faculty Fellows Program for mid-career faculty are due November 15. For more information and to apply, click here.

Lilly Network of Church- Related Colleges and Universities

If you are interested in learning more about membership in the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities, please contact us here.

New edition of Leading Lives that Matter released

In their second edition of Leading Lives That Matter, editors Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass compile a wide range of texts—from ancient and contemporary literature, social commentary, and philosophy—related to questions of vital interest for those who are trying to decide what to do with their lives and what kind of human beings they hope to become. Leading Lives that Matter has been an important text in many of our fellowship and grant programs, and it contains excellent resources. Click here for more information and an excerpt.